Systematic Social Observation of Public Spaces: A New Look at Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods

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Systematic Social Observation of Public Spaces: A New Look at Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods

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Title: Systematic Social Observation of Public Spaces: A New Look at Disorder in Urban Neighborhoods
Author: Raudenbush, Stephen W.; Sampson, Robert

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Sampson, Robert J. and Stephen W. Raudenbush. 1999. Systematic social observation of public spaces: A new look at disorder in urban neighborhoods. American Journal of Sociology 105, no. 3: 603-651.
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Abstract: This article assesses the sources and consequences of public disorder. Based on the videotaping and systematic rating of more than 23,000 street segments in Chicago, highly reliable scales of social and physical disorder for 196 neighborhoods are constructed. Census data, police records, and an independent survey of more than 3,500 residents are then integrated to test a theory of collective efficacy and structural constraints. Defined as cohesion among residents combined with shared expectations for the social control of public space, collective efficacy explains lower rates of crime and observed disorder after controlling neighborhood structural characteristics. Collective efficacy is also linked to lower rates of violent crime after accounting for disorder and the reciprocal effects of violence. Contrary to the "broken windows" theory, however, the relationship between public disorder and crime is spurious except perhaps for robbery.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/210356
Other Sources: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/sampson/articles/1999_AJS_Raudenbush.pdf
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3226951

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6463]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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